Mountain Melodies returns to St Margaret’s, Braemar this July for musicians aged 14-17

St Margaret’s Braemar, in partnership with Live Music Now Scotland, will host a week-long music and composition project during the 2019 Summer holidays called Mountain Melodies, for talented young musicians from the local area, combining composition workshops, one-to-one tuition, talks, seminars and performances.

A few places are remaining for the project running from Monday 8 to Sunday 14 July 2019 in Braemar. Application deadline extended to Friday 28 June 2019. 

To apply contact Kirsten Hunter for an application form:

Musicians should have a keen interest in Scottish traditional music, be aged 14–17, and of Grade 4 or above* standard on one of the following instruments: fiddle, pipes, piano, whistle, guitar, bouzouki, voice.

*Age range and level are for guidance, and participants need not have sat exams at Grade 4 level – if this is the case, students should discuss with their teacher if they would be suitable.

Participants will work with award-winning Scottish traditional band Barluath and composer Simon Thoumire to develop instrumental skills and work together to create new music – inspired by the local area – that will then be performed in community venues and in a public performance in St Margaret’s Braemar.

The project is being offered completely free-of-charge to participants, but those taking part should be available for the whole period: there is also performance from Barluath on Wednesday 10 July, and a final performance on the evening of Sunday 14 July 2019. Please note accommodation is not available for participants.

Barluath is a diverse and innovative Scottish folk band that embraces both the traditional and contemporary music of Scotland, Ireland and America. The band has delighted many audiences since forming in 2010, and is well-known on the traditional circuit, having made appearances at festivals such as Celtic Connections (where they won the 2012 Danny Kyle Award), Linlithgow Folk Festival and PipingLive!,as well as in Germany, Denmark and Belgium. In November 2011, the band was invited to Washington DC as part of the ScottishGovernment’s St. Andrews Day celebrationsin the USA, culminating in performances at The National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the British Embassy.

Simon Thoumire is a virtuoso concertina player and composer originally from Edinburgh now living in Glasgow. He has performed across the world playing Scottish music and new compositions, both as a soloist and with bands including the Simon Thoumire Three, Simon Thoumire and David Milligan and Keep It Up. Simon wrote the first Celtic Connections New Voices in 1997 and went on to write Music for a New Scottish Parliament, The Scottish Requiemand more recently writing new music for the Strathspey and Surreal Society. Simon also works with Hands Up for Trad – a development organisation that promotes Scots traditional music across the world.

St. Margaret’s Braemar is considered to be one of Scotland’s finest churches, designed in the late 19th century by renowned Scottish architect Sir John Ninian Comper. The St. Margaret’s Project is a partnership between The Scottish Redundant Churches Trust and the St. Margaret’sTrust. Its primary aim is to restore and develop the building into a renowned, high quality performance and arts venue which will attract local, national and international performers and audiences. The project also aims to record and celebrate the rich cultural heritage and history of the building and the surrounding area.

Live Music Now was established in the 1970s by the violinist Yehudi Menuhin and is now theUK’s foremost music outreach organisation, reaching into the heart of local communities, working in old people’s residential and day care centres, adult resource centres, secure units and schools –including for those with additional support needs, and rural areas. In Scotland, Live Music Now works with around 100 musicians in chamber groups across all musical genres delivering around 750 performances a year, as well as a programme of training and professional development.